Infant formula advertising

Does infant formula provide the benefits advertisers claim?

The infant formula industry spends a lot on advertising, trying to convince parents to buy certain brands. Advertising is aimed not only at families, but at health-care providers and their organizations, hospitals, and governments. In the process, it undermines breastfeeding. Many advertising campaigns claim that products are “closer to breast milk” than competitors’ products. Companies make “improvements” to products to gain an advantage over competitors or to justify higher prices. However, the findings of independent research often differ widely from the advertising claims. Companies have claimed, for example, that certain infant formula reduces colic and gas or decreases the risk of allergic disease. Other ads claim benefits from the addition of certain fats or prebiotics and probiotics. Research supporting them is limited and in some cases funded by infant formula makers.

A) Describing the marketing of infant formula

Infant formula (formula) has improved through the 20th century. During this time, formula manufacturers also evolved to where the formula market is now controlled by six of the most powerful food companies in the world, with massive household and global reach. It was worth about USD 70 billion in 2019 (WHO 2020). These companies aim to increase shareholder value through the sale of formula. Profit (income after expenses) on formula sales is about 23%, making it a high-margin product along with pet food and premium coffee (Hastings 2020).

Companies use marketing to differentiate their products from those of competitors and to increase sales (Munblit 2020). For example, marketing has been very successful at creating a demand for toddler milk, a product deemed unnecessary by many health organizations.

Marketing practices for formula have been a long-standing concern as they decrease the initiation of breastfeeding, the likelihood of exclusive breastfeeding, and the duration of breastfeeding (Parry 2013; Kaplan 2008; Piwoz 2015; Rosenberg 2008; Sadacharan 2014; Stevens 2009; Waite 2016). 

The World Health Organization notes that (WHO 2020):

“Aggressive and inappropriate marketing of breast-milk substitutes, and other food products that compete with breastfeeding, continues to undermine efforts to improve breastfeeding rates. Such marketing practices often negatively affect the choice and ability of mothers to breastfeed their infants optimally.”

Marketing of formula is extensive. One report by Save the Children (STC 2018) indicates that formula companies may have spent as much as USD 7.2 billion on advertising and marketing in 2015. If spending on sales staff and administration is included, the amount increases to USD 17 billion, or about one-quarter of the value of global sales.

B) Marketing practices of the infant formula industry

While the ultimate target of the marketing are families, who decide how their babies are fed, marketing targets them directly and indirectly (Brady 2012). 

1) Families 

Families are directly targeted in numerous ways (Hastings 2020; Vinje 2017):

  • Baby clubs which claim to offer information and support. These aim to increase brand loyalty and allow companies to collect personal data which is used to streamline further marketing.
  • Advertising of formula, bottles, and bottle nipples (Mason 2018; Silva 2020; Smith 2013) in conventional media, on websites, through social media, and on apps (Pomeranz 2021; Zhao 2019).
  • In-store special displays and discounts (de Oliveira 2020)
  • Gift bags and pacifiers from hospitals (Morain 2018; Sadacharan 2014; Schliep 2019).
  • Promotional items such as formula samples and discount coupons sent to them directly or received from their health-care providers (Dusdieker 2006; Howard 2000).
  • Other promotional items such as diaper bags, change pads, and toys.

Formula marketing approaches include (Hastings 2020):

  • The “soft sell”
  • Building false friendships
  • Stressing its similarity to breast milk

2) Pharmacies and pharmacists 

Pharmacies and pharmacists stand to gain directly from sales of formula. Examples of marketing undertaken by pharmacies aimed at families include (Funduluka 2018; Hadihardjono 2019):

  • Joint promotion with infant foods such as snacks or other baby-themed items (Prado 2020)
  • Advertising of formula, bottles, nipples, and related products
  • Promotional items such as formula samples and discount coupons
  • Images and labels which idealize formula-feeding and lack breastfeeding information

3) Doctors and other health-care providers 

Doctors and other health-care providers have an important role in the decisions made by families. Formula manufacturers can benefit if providers have a positive opinion of their products. Marketing to health-care providers includes the following (Greer 1991; Howard 1993; Lake 2019; Taylor 1998; Wright 2006):

  • Gifts and free meals and travel
  • Research or scholarship grants
  • Promotional office supplies such as weight-scale liners
  • Payment for industry-prepared talks to parents and other health-care providers 
  • Visits from company representatives promoting formula
  • Advertising posters, free samples, and discount coupons

Nurses (milk nurses) and sales representatives claiming to be nurses have been employed by formula companies to promote their products (Brady 2012; Lakani 1984). 

4) Doctors’ organizations 

One study (Grummer-Strawn 2019) in 2019 showed that 60% of 114 national pediatric associations accepted funding from formula companies. Funding is used for the following (Bognar 2020; Greer 1991; Thornton 2016; Sharfstein 2017):

  • Direct sponsorship of the organization
  • Educational grants
  • Support of conferences and other events
  • Purchasing of advertising in organization journals (Hickman 2021)
  • Funding of newsletters or other publications
  • Funding of awards

Again, these are designed to ensure providers have a positive opinion of their products.

5) Research

Research may be funded by formula manufacturers or done directly by the manufacturer and has been shown to lack independence or transparency, and published outcomes are biased by selective reporting (Helfer 2021; Tanrikulu 2020).

Medical journals that publish studies may accept advertising revenue from manufacturers (van Tulleken 2018).   

6) Hospitals and government agencies 

Hospitals and governmental agencies may have a close association with formula manufacturers (Kent 2006). Manufacturers may provide: 

  • Items labelled with the formula brand or promotional advertising:
    • Free or low-cost formula, sterile water
    • Free or low-cost bottles, bottle nipples, and pacifiers
    • Crib (cot) cards, measuring tapes, and change pads
  • Hospital equipment such as incubators (baby isolettes)
  • Meals and marketing events often described as educational sessions for staff
  • Grants of money
  • Funding to members of committees or boards that create guidelines and policies (van Tulleken 2018)

7) Government officials and politicians

Formula manufacturers lobby government officials and politicians (Tanrikulu 2020; Khazan 2018). 

C) The World Health Organization Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes

The World Health Organization Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes (the Code) was established in 1981 and aims to curb the promotion of formula (WHO 1981). There have been many subsequent resolutions.

The main points are:

  1. No advertising of formula or other breast milk substitutes to the public.
  2. No free samples to mothers, their families, or health workers.
  3. No promotion of products in the health-care system through displays, posters, or distribution of promotional materials. No use by health-care systems of personnel provided by formula companies.
  4. No gifts or samples to health workers. Product information must be factual and scientific. No free or low-cost supplies of breast milk substitutes to any part of the health-care system.
  5. Information and educational materials must explain the benefits of breastfeeding, the health hazards of bottle-feeding, and the costs of using formula.
  6. Product labels must clearly state the superiority of breastfeeding, the need for the advice of a health worker and a warning about health hazards. No pictures of babies or other pictures or text idealizing the use of formula.
  7. Unsuitable products, such as sweetened condensed milk, should not be promoted for babies. All products should be of high quality, have expiration dates, and take account of the climate and storage conditions of the country where they are used.

The implementation of the Code needs political will and transparent governing structures (Forsyth 2013). As of April 2018, only 136 of 194 countries had legal measures enforcing provisions of the Code (WHO 2020). Of these, 25 countries had measures substantially aligned with the Code, and a further 42 had measures that are moderately aligned.

Countries with no legal measures include Angola, Argentina, Australia, Belarus, Canada, Central African Republic, Cuba, Eritrea, Japan, Lesotho, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Morocco, Namibia, New Zealand, North Korea, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, and the United States (WHO 2020).

As a result, there are often few restrictions in these countries on how formula companies operate (Harris 2020). Information given to parents may be:

  • Confusing (Berry 2011; Periera 2016).
  • Biased and not supported by independent research (Kent 2014; Koletzko 2006).
  • Misleading (Changing Markets Foundation 2018; Kean 2014).
  • Poorly regulated (Wallingford 2018).

Additionally, where there are legal measures, they may not be enforced (Berry 2017; Liu 2014; Prado 2020).

D) Types of advertising claims by infant formula manufacturers

1) Claims of being “closer to breast milk”

Infant formula is fundamentally different from breast milk but many advertising campaigns claim that their products are “closer to breast milk” than the competitors’ products. 

“Improvements” in the products are made to gain an advantage over a competitor or to justify higher prices. However, the findings of independent research often differ widely from the claims made by formula companies (Belamarich 2016; Braegger 2011; Jasani 2017; Moon 2016; Mugambi 2012; Verner 2007). 

2) Claims of reduction of gas and colic

Manufacturers make unjustified claims that their products reduce colic and gas. One study (Belamarich 2016) examined 22 examples of formula advertising in the U.S. Thirteen included such claims. There is not enough evidence to support these claims (Gordon 2018).

Manufacturers of “low gas” formula brands may replace the normal milk sugar, lactose, with other sugars that may be less healthy. Examples include corn syrup solids or table sugar; interestingly both are banned in regular European formula.

3) Claims of benefits from lactose-free and lactose-reduced formula

Some advertising campaigns have promoted lactose-free or lactose-reduced formula. However, it is very rare for a baby not to be able to digest lactose. It is the main sugar in breast milk. As with low gas formula, lactose-free formula will use other sugars that may be less healthy. 

4) Claims of benefits from DHA, ARA, omega-3, and long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids

Formula companies continue to advertise the benefits of certain fats known as long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFAs). These include omega-3 fats such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) and omega-6 fats such as arachidonic acid (ARA). These are now found in most infant formula.

Most DHA used in formula is extracted from the algae Crypthecodinium, Schizochytrium, and Ulkenia using solvents such as hexane, acid, and bleach (Kent 2014; Zou 2016). ARA is usually obtained from oil made of the fungus Mortierella alpina. The chemical structure of DHA and ARA is different from the DHA and ARA found naturally in breast milk (Kent 2014).  

The quality of the research on the effect of adding LCPUFAs is low and the long-term effect of adding these to formula remains uncertain (Jasani 2017; Verfuerden 2020). Adding DHA to infant formula has shown inconsistent results in premature babies (Keim 2018; Smith 2017). 

5) Claims of benefits from pre- and probiotics

i) Prebiotics

A prebiotic is an agent,  often  a type of sugar, that helps good bacteria grow. Think of prebiotics as fertilizer for good bacteria.

Breast milk contains large amounts and varieties of specialized sugars (human milk oligosaccharides [HMOs]) that cannot be digested by the baby. Rather these are consumed by helpful bacteria in the gut which prevents the over-growth of harmful ones. HMOs are an example of a prebiotic.

HMOs not only prevent infection in the gut and elsewhere but also support the development of a normal immune system and provide nutrients for growth.

There are over 200 types of HMOs and the types of HMOs vary between mothers and are present in large amounts in breast milk.

Some formula companies add one or several HMOs to formula. Examples include 2'fucosyllactose (2'FL) and lacto-N-neotetraose (LNnT). These appear to be safe for babies (Puccio 2017) however, their long-term effects are unknown. Breast milk has many more varieties of HMOs and they are more complex and present in larger amounts (Ayechu-Muruzabal 2018; Nijman 2018).

ii) Probiotics

A  probiotic  is a type of organism,  usually a bacteria, usually given to people to treat or prevent disease by improving the health of the microbiome, the microorganisms in the body. Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus species are probiotics that have been added to formula.

If formula is powdered and the baby is under four months, the formula should be prepared with water that has been boiled and cooled to 70° Celsius (160° Fahrenheit). This is needed to kill dangerous bacteria (cronobacter) that may be present in the powder, but it also kills the probiotics, so their presence in powdered formula is irrelevant for babies less than four months of age.

iii) Evidence for benefits of pre- and probiotics in formula

Formula manufacturers have added pre- and probiotics to formula and have claimed they improve the baby’s gut microbiome and health. However, the evidence is limited (Bode 2018; Cuello-Garcia 2016; Mugambi 2012; Plaza-Díaz 2018; Shahramian 2018; Skórka 2017; Skórka 2018).

Probiotics do not appear to decrease crying in infant formula-fed babies (Sung 2013; Sung 2018).

Indeed, a number of groups have found there is insufficient data to recommend the routine use of formulas supplemented with pre- or probiotics. These include:

  • The European Society for Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHN) (Braegger 2011)
  • The European Union (EFSA 2014)
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (Thomas 2010)

The ESPGHN noted that most studies of the benefits of adding pre- and probiotics to formula were funded by the companies that produced the formula (Braegger 2011). Similar concerns were raised by other researchers (Mugambi 2014). 

The addition of HMOs is often used to justify a significant increase in price.

6) Claims of reduction of allergic diseases and type 1 diabetes

a) Allergic diseases

There is insufficient evidence that any of the following can prevent allergic diseases (asthma, eczema, hay fever, food allergies) when given during pregnancy, breastfeeding, or early life (Vandenplas 2020):

  • Omega-3 LCPUFA (including DHA)
  • Prebiotics
  • Probiotics

There is insufficient evidence that partially or extensively hydrolyzed infant formula can prevent allergic diseases (EFSA 2021; Greer 2019; Osborn 2018; Vandenplas 2020).

b) Type 1 diabetes

Extensively hydrolyzed formula does not decrease the risk of type 1 diabetes in babies at risk (Boyle 2016; Writing Group for the TRIGR Study Group 2018).


Ayechu-Muruzabal V, van Stigt AH, Mank M, et al. Diversity of Human Milk Oligosaccharides and Effects on Early Life Immune Development. Frontiers in Pediatrics. 2018;6:239

Belamarich PF, Bochner RE, Racine AD. A Critical Review of the Marketing Claims of Infant Formula Products in the United States. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2016 May;55(5):437-42
Berry NJ, Gribble KD. Health and nutrition content claims on websites advertising infant formula available in Australia: A content analysis. Matern Child Nutr. 2017 Oct;13(4).
Berry NJ, Jones SC, Iverson D. Relax, you're soaking in it: sources of information about infant formula. D. Breastfeed Rev. 2011 Mar;19(1):9-18
Bode L. Human Milk Oligosaccharides in the Prevention of Necrotizing Enterocolitis: A Journey From in vitro and in vivo Models to Mother-Infant Cohort Studies. Front Pediatr. 2018 Dec 4;6:385

Bognar Z, De Luca D, Domellöf M, et al. Promoting Breastfeeding and Interaction of Pediatric Associations With Providers of Nutritional Products. Front Pediatr. 2020 Nov 25;8:562870

Boyle RJ, Ierodiakonou D, Khan T, et al. Hydrolysed formula and risk of allergic or autoimmune disease: systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ. 2016 Mar 8;352:i974
Brady JP. Marketing breast milk substitutes: problems and perils throughout the world.  Archives of Disease in Childhood. 2012;97(6):529-532
Braegger C, Chmielewska A, Decsi T, et al.; ESPGHAN Committee on Nutrition. Supplementation of infant formula with probiotics and/or prebiotics: a systematic review and comment by the ESPGHAN committee on nutrition. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2011 Feb;52(2):238-50
Changing Markets Foundation. Busting the myth of science-based formula; an investigation into nestlé infant milk products and claims. Utrecht: Changing Markets Foundation; 2018 Feb [cited 2018 Mar]
Cuello-Garcia CA, Fiocchi A, Pawankar R, et al. World Allergy Organization-McMaster University Guidelines for Allergic Disease Prevention (GLAD-P): Prebiotics. World Allergy Organ J. 2016 Mar 1;9:10

de Oliveira MIC, Boccolini CS, Fonseca Sally EO. Breastmilk Substitutes Marketing Violations and Associated Factors in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. J Hum Lact. 2020 Dec 22:890334420978405 

Dusdieker LB, Dungy CI, Losch ME. Prenatal office practices regarding infant feeding choices. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2006 Nov;45(9):841-5
EFSA NDA Panel. Scientific opinion on the essential composition of infant and follow-on formulae. EFSA Journal 2014;12(7): 3760–3866

EFSA Panel on Nutrition, Novel Foods and Food Allergens (NDA), Castenmiller J, Hirsch-Ernst KI, Kearney J, et al. (EFSA). Efficacy of an infant formula manufactured from a specific protein hydrolysate derived from whey protein isolate and concentrate produced by Société des Produits Nestlé S.A. in reducing the risk of developing atopic dermatitis. EFSA J. 2021 Jun 16;19(6):e06603

Forsyth S. Non-compliance with the International Code of Marketing of Breast Milk Substitutes is not confined to the infant formula industry. J Public Health (Oxf). 2013 Jun;35(2):185-90
Funduluka P, Bosomprah S, Chilengi R, et al. Marketing of breast-milk substitutes in Zambia: evaluation of compliance to the international regulatory code. J Public Health (Oxf). 2018 Mar 1;40(1):e1-e7 

Gordon M, Biagioli E, Sorrenti M, et al. Dietary modifications for infantile colic. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Oct 10;10(10):CD011029

Greer FR, Apple RD. Physicians, formula companies, and advertising. A historical perspective. Am J Dis Child. 1991 Mar;145(3):282-6
Greer FR, Sicherer SH, Burks AW; COMMITTEE ON NUTRITION, SECTION ON ALLERGY AND IMMUNOLOGY. The Effects of Early Nutritional Interventions on the Development of Atopic Disease in Infants and Children: The Role of Maternal Dietary Restriction, Breastfeeding, Hydrolyzed Formulas, and Timing of Introduction of Allergenic Complementary Foods. Pediatrics 2019; 143(4)
Grummer-Strawn LM, Holliday F, Jungo KT, et al. Sponsorship of national and regional professional paediatrics associations by companies that make breast-milk substitutes: evidence from a review of official websites. BMJ Open. 2019 Aug 10;9(8):e029035
Hadihardjono DN, Green M, Stormer A, et al. Promotions of breastmilk substitutes, commercial complementary foods and commercial snack products commonly fed to young children are frequently found in points-of-sale in Bandung City, Indonesia. Matern Child Nutr. 2019 Jun;15 Suppl 4(Suppl Suppl 4):e12808 

Harris JL, Pomeranz JL. Infant formula and toddler milk marketing: opportunities to address harmful practices and improve young children's diets. Nutr Rev. 2020 Jan 22:nuz095

Hastings G, Angus K, Eadie D, et al. Selling second best: how infant formula marketing works. Global Health. 2020;16(1):77. Published 2020 Aug 28

Helfer B, Leonardi-Bee J, Mundell A, et al. Conduct and reporting of formula milk trials: systematic review. BMJ. 2021 Oct 13;375:n2202

Hickman N, Morgan S, Crawley H, et al. Advertising of Human Milk Substitutes in United Kingdom Healthcare Professional Publications: An Observational Study. J Hum Lact. 2021 May 16:8903344211018161

Howard C, Howard F, Lawrence R, et al. Office prenatal formula advertising and its effect on breast-feeding patterns. Obstet Gynecol. 2000 Feb;95(2):296-303

Howard FM, Howard CR, Weitzman M. The physician as advertiser: the unintentional discouragement of breast-feeding. Obstet Gynecol. 1993 Jun;81(6):1048-51
Jasani B, Simmer K, Patole SK, et al. Long chain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in infants born at term. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Mar 10;3:CD000376

Kaplan DL, Graff KM. Marketing breastfeeding--reversing corporate influence on infant feeding practices. J Urban Health. 2008 Jul;85(4):486-504. Erratum in: J Urban Health. 2008 Jul;85(4):505

Keim SA, Boone KM, Klebanoff MA, et al. Effect of Docosahexaenoic Acid Supplementation vs Placebo on Developmental Outcomes of Toddlers Born Preterm: A Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA Pediatr. 2018 Oct 22
Kean YK. Breaking the rules 2014 (BTR) evidence of violations of the International Code of Marketing of Breast‐milk Substitutes and subsequent resolutions compiled from January 2011 to December 2013. Penang, Malaysia: IBFAN‐ICDC; 2014 Jan
Kent G. WIC's promotion of infant formula in the United States. Int Breastfeed J. 2006 Apr 20;1(1):8
Kent G. Regulating fatty acids in infant formula: critical assessment of U.S. policies and practices. Int Breastfeed J. 2014 Jan 16;9(1):2
Khazan O. The Epic Battle Between Breast Milk and Infant-Formula Companies. Boston; The Atlantic: 2017 Jul 10

Koletzko B, Shamir R. Standards for infant formula milk: Commercial interests may be the strongest driver of what goes into formula milk. BMJ : British Medical Journal. 2006;332(7542):621-622

Lake L, Kroon M, Sanders D, et al. Child health, infant formula funding and South African health professionals: Eliminating conflict of interest. S Afr Med J. 2019 Nov 27;109(12):902-906

Lien EL, Richard C, Hoffman DR. DHA and ARA addition to infant formula: Current status and future research directions. Prostaglandins Leukot Essent Fatty Acids. 2018 Jan;128:26-40

Liu A, Dai Y, Xie X, et al. Implementation of international code of marketing breast-milk substitutes in China. Breastfeed Med. 2014 Nov;9(9):467-72
Mason F, Greer H. Don't Push It: Why the formula milk industry must clean up its act. Safe the Children; 2018 Feb 2 [cited March 17 2018]
Moon K, Rao SC, Schulzke SM, et al. Longchain polyunsaturated fatty acid supplementation in preterm infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2016, Issue 12. Art. No.: CD000375
Morain S, Barnhill A. Do Infant Formula Giveaways Undermine or Support Women's Choices? AMA J Ethics. 2018 Oct 1;20(10):E924-931
Mugambi MN, Musekiwa A, Lombard M, et al. Probiotics, prebiotics infant formula use in preterm or low birth weight infants: a systematic review. Nutr J. 2012 Aug 28;11:58
Mugambi MN, Young T, Blaauw R. Application of evidence on probiotics, prebiotics and synbiotics by food industry: a descriptive study. BMC Res Notes. 2014 Oct 23;7:754

Munblit D, Crawley H, Hyde R, et al. Health and nutrition claims for infant formula are poorly substantiated and potentially harmful. BMJ. 2020 May 6;369:m875
Nijman R, Liu Y, Bunyatratchata A, et al. Characterization and quantification of oligosaccharides in human milk and infant formula. J Agric Food Chem. 2018 May 25
Osborn DA, Sinn JK, Jones LJ. Infant formulas containing hydrolysed protein for prevention of allergic disease. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Oct 19;10:CD003664
Parry K, Taylor E, Hall-Dardess P,et al. Understanding women's interpretations of infant formula advertising. Birth. 2013 Jun;40(2):115-24
Pereira C, Ford R, Feeley AB, et al. Cross-sectional survey shows that follow-up formula and growing-up milks are labelled similarly to infant formula in four low and middle income countries. Matern Child Nutr. 2016 Apr;12 Suppl 2:91-105
Piwoz EG, Huffman SL. The Impact of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes on WHO-Recommended Breastfeeding Practices. Food Nutr Bull. 2015 Dec;36(4):373-86
Plaza-Díaz J, Fontana L, Gil A. Human Milk Oligosaccharides and Immune System Development. Nutrients. 2018 Aug 8;10(8). pii: E1038 

Pomeranz JL, Chu X, Groza O, et al. Breastmilk or infant formula? Content analysis of infant feeding advice on breastmilk substitute manufacturer websites. Public Health Nutr. 2021 Sep 14:1-9

Prado ISCF, Rinaldi AEM. Compliance of infant formula promotion on websites of Brazilian manufacturers and drugstores. Rev Saude Publica. 2020 Feb 10;54:12 
Puccio G, Alliet P, Cajozzo C, et al. Effects of Infant Formula With Human Milk Oligosaccharides on Growth and Morbidity: A Randomized Multicenter Trial. J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2017 Apr;64(4):624-631

Rosenberg KD, Eastham CA, Kasehagen LJ, et al. Marketing infant formula through hospitals: the impact of commercial hospital discharge packs on breastfeeding. Am J Public Health. 2008 Feb;98(2):290-5
Sadacharan R, Grossman X, Matlak S, et al. Hospital discharge bags and breastfeeding at 6 months: data from the infant feeding practices study II. J Hum Lact. 2014 Feb;30(1):73-9

Save the Children (STC). DON’T PUSH IT. Why the formula milk industry must clean up its act. London: Save the Children; 2018
Schliep KC, Denhalter D, Gren LH, et al. Factors in the Hospital Experience Associated with Postpartum Breastfeeding Success. Breastfeed Med. 2019 Jun;14(5):334-341
Shahramian I, Kalvandi G, Javaherizadeh H, et al. The effects of prebiotic supplementation on weight gain, diarrhoea, constipation, fever and respiratory tract infections in the first year of life. J Paediatr Child Health. 2018 Mar 26
Sharfstein JM, Silver DL. Relationship Between the American Academy of Pediatrics and Infant Formula Companies. JAMA Pediatr. 2017;171(7):613-614

Silva KBD, Oliveira MIC, Boccolini CS, Sally EOF. Illegal commercial promotion of products competing with breastfeeding. Rev Saude Publica. 2020;54:10.  

Skórka A, Pieścik-Lech M, Kołodziej M, et al. Infant formulae supplemented with prebiotics: Are they better than unsupplemented formulae? An updated systematic review. Br J Nutr. 2018 Apr;119(7):810-825

Skórka A, Pieścik-Lech M, Kołodziej M, et al. To add or not to add probiotics to infant formulae? An updated systematic review. Benef Microbes. 2017 Oct 13;8(5):717-725
Smith J, Blake M. Infant food marketing strategies undermine effective regulation of breast-milk substitutes: trends in print advertising in Australia, 1950-2010. Aust N Z J Public Health. 2013 Aug;37(4):337-44
Smith SL, Rouse CA. Docosahexaenoic acid and the preterm infant. Matern Health Neonatol Perinatol. 2017 Dec 12;3:2
Stevens EE, Patrick TE, Pickler R. A history of infant feeding. J Perinat Educ. 2009 Spring;18(2):32-9

Sung V, Collett S, de Gooyer T, et al. Probiotics to prevent or treat excessive infant crying: systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Pediatr. 2013 Dec;167(12):1150-7

Sung V, D'Amico F, Cabana MD, et al. Lactobacillus reuteri to Treat Infant Colic: A Meta-analysis. Pediatrics. 2018 Jan;141(1). pii: e20171811

Tanrikulu H, Neri D, Robertson A, Mialon M. Corporate political activity of the baby food industry: the example of Nestlé in the United States of America. Int Breastfeed J. 2020;15(1):22. Published 2020 Apr 8

Taylor A. Violations of the international code of marketing of breast milk substitutes: prevalence in four countries. BMJ. 1998 Apr 11;316(7138):1117-22 

Thomas DW, Greer FR; American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition; American Academy of Pediatrics Section on Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition. Probiotics and prebiotics in pediatrics. Pediatrics. 2010 Dec;126(6):1217-31
Thornton J. Paediatricians vote for college to continue accepting funds from infant formula companies. BMJ 2016;355:i5827

van Tulleken C. Overdiagnosis and industry influence: how cow’s milk protein allergy is extending the reach of infant formula manufacturers. BMJ. 2018 Dec 5;363:k5056

Vandenplas Y, Meyer R, Chouraqui JP, et al. The role of milk feeds and other dietary supplementary interventions in preventing allergic disease in infants: Fact or fiction? Clin Nutr. 2020 Oct 20:S0261-5614(20)30553-7

Verfuerden ML, Dib S, Jerrim J, et al. Effect of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in infant formula on long-term cognitive function in childhood: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. PLoS One. 2020

Verner AM, McGuire W, Craig JS. Effect of taurine supplementation on growth and development in preterm or low birth weight infants. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2007, Issue4. Art.No.: CD006072
Vinje KH, Phan LTH, Nguyen TT, et al. Media audit reveals inappropriate promotion of products under the scope of the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes in South-East Asia. 2017:1–10
Waite WM, Christakis D. The Impact of Mailed Samples of Infant Formula on Breastfeeding Rates. Breastfeed Med. 2016 Jan-Feb;11(1):21-5
Wallingford JC. Perspective: Structure-Function Claims on Infant Formula. Advances in Nutrition 2018;3(9):183-92

World Health Organization (WHO). International Code of Marketing of Breast-Milk Substitutes. Geneva: World Health Organization; 1981

World Health Organization (WHO). Marketing of breast-milk substitutes: national implementation of the international code; Status Report 2020. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2020. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO
Wright CM, Waterston AJ. Relationships between paediatricians and infant formula milk companies. Arch Dis Child. 2006 May;91(5):383-5
Writing Group for the TRIGR Study Group; Knip M, Åkerblom HK, Al Taji E, et al. Effect of Hydrolyzed Infant Formula vs Conventional Formula on Risk of Type 1 Diabetes: The TRIGR Randomized Clinical Trial. JAMA. 2018 Jan 2;319(1):38-48
Zhao J, Li M, Freeman B. A Baby Formula Designed for Chinese Babies: Content Analysis of Milk Formula Advertisements on Chinese Parenting Apps. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth. 2019;7(11):e14219
Zou L, Pande G, Akoh CC. Infant Formula Fat Analogs and Human Milk Fat: New Focus on Infant Developmental Needs. Annu Rev Food Sci Technol. 2016;7:139-65